The easiest way to create healthy meals

I’m so confused by counting calories, and grams of fats and carbs…what’s an easy way to figure out what I should be eating at each meal?
–Kim from Denver, Colorado

 Here’s the easiest way to gauge it:

For Breakfast: Imagine your meal is divided into three sections. Produce (vegetables and/or fruits); protein (things like Greek yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, or eggs); and high-quality starch (one to two slices of whole grain toast or a serving of whole grain cereal).

If you were to put this together, here’s what a few meal options would look like:

  • Nonfat Greek yogurt layered with berries and crunchy, high-fiber cereal or granola
  • A toasted whole grain English muffin topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas
  • A mushroom-onion omelet with a side of whole grain toast and sliced grapefruit

For Lunch and Dinner: Make half of your plate vegetables; a quarter of your plate lean proteins; and the remaining quarter of your plate a high-quality starch.

Some examples include:

  • Five ounces of grilled chicken with ¾ cup of cooked brown rice and 2 cups of roasted vegetables
  • Start with a salad, followed by 1 cup of whole grain pasta mixed with shrimp and broccoli

In addition, find ways to work healthy fats into your meals by cooking with olive oil, dressing salads with vinaigrette, layering avocado on sandwiches, and adding a sprinkling of nuts and seeds into entrées and sides.

Have a diet or nutrition question you’d like me to answer? Send it my way.